Justice 1/30/2019

Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. -J.C. Watts, Jr.

In your heart, you know the right thing. Be of clear conscience. Be a person of character, always.

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The Virtue of Justice

What does it mean to live a just life? If right thoughts and right actions equal righteousness, can we be righteous? Our hope is that others treat us with justice. This of course is no guarantee, but it does not change our responsibilities. It is our responsibility to be honest in our deeds and in our words, and that we treat others with justice.

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Justice 1/23/2019

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. -Gloria Steinem

What’s wrong with being pissed off? At least you can do something about that. Don’t you want to be free?

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The Virtue of Justice

What does it mean to live a just life? If right thoughts and right actions equal righteousness, can we be righteous? Our hope is that others treat us with justice. This of course is no guarantee, but it does not change our responsibilities. It is our responsibility to be honest in our deeds and in our words, and that we treat others with justice.

_____________________

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Justice 1/16/2019

Life is short, and truth works far and lives long: let us then speak the truth. -Arthur Schopenhauer

By speaking the truth you can never go wrong. And after you have left this short life, you will be remembered because of it.

____________________

The Virtue of Justice

What does it mean to live a just life? If right thoughts and right actions equal righteousness, can we be righteous? Our hope is that others treat us with justice. This of course is no guarantee, but it does not change our responsibilities. It is our responsibility to be honest in our deeds and in our words, and that we treat others with justice.

_____________________

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Poor Judgment?

I sat in the meeting and listened to the guy who took it upon himself to drive the meeting. As he has done before, he spoke with much self-importance. He had all the answers and he wanted to demonstrate this whether it was true or not. Who does this guy think he is. We all make the same money, work on the same project, yet he is the self-appointed leader?

To be important seems to be the driver behind this guy’s motivation. I might not like his approach, but don’t I have this same desire to be important? Not only do I want to be important, I want to be viewed as important. Of course, it is an ego thing and one that I need to deal with personally. But it is something that we all desire: to matter. And as the great psychologist and philosopher William James once said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

I am quick to judge another person’s desire for importance. But here I am, the same. Wouldn’t it be better for me add value to the meeting, rather than obsess about this nonsense? Why not listen and contribute when the time is right? If all desire appreciation, why not make an ally of this team member and show my appreciation for his work?

Marcus Aurelius asked the question: Does it make any difference to you if other people blame you for doing what is right? It is a good question and one we should consider. It shouldn’t make a difference, and yet I would most likely be offended. But Aurelius’ question and can also be looked at from another perspective: Who am I to blame someone else for doing what they think is right? I wouldn’t want it done to me. What gives me the right to do it to someone else?

I am going to be attending that meeting again today. As I sit there I need to consider the following:

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. –Wayne Dyer

Live in the Light

So much evil that when exposed to the light, the vampire would burst into flames. He can only operate in the dark. Only in the shadows can he conduct his nefarious activities.

I used to love reading the vampire books. From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice, they were really enjoyable reads. The villains were glamorized (something I no longer find appealing) and at times really didn’t seem so evil. But vampires are evil. They can’t do what they do in the broad daylight. Operating without cover risks them to exposure, and that is one thing they are afraid of.

Vampires are afraid of the light, but what would cause a man to be afraid of the light? Why would be there the need to hide in the cover of darkness? Men hide in the dark when they don’t want to be seen. What are they hiding? What are we hiding? What am I hiding?

To come into the light is to declare that we have nothing to hide. To live a completely open life, one without shame, should be the ideal for the just individual. It may not be possible to live completely free of error. But once the errors are realized, we should acknowledge them and make them right. To cover them up is to recede back into the darkness. The longer we stay there, the more likely we will become afraid to come back out into the light.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Respect Starts With You

Can you respect yourself and live a mediocre life? If you continually do the things you know you shouldn’t, how can possibly have any self-respect?

How can an alcoholic have real self-esteem, one found outside of the bottle?

How does a guy that can’t get off the sofa, can’t turn off the television, find his time to be of any value?

If we want to be respected by others, we need to be worthy of respect. And the way to do that is to live in such a way as to garner the respect of others. It starts with us. Respecting ourselves. Not by our words but by our actions. It is evident in the way we conduct ourselves. We have to have enough respect for ourselves to live in a fashion that is worthy of respect.

So many expect and demand respect without doing anything to earn it. They expect it to be given. Of course, we should all be treated with dignity common to all humans, and we should freely treat others with that same respect. But for those who want more than this basic dignity, who want to be highly-respected, then it begins by respecting yourself.

Respect yourself and others will respect you. -Confucius

Quest for Truth

The truth matters. It will set you free.

What doesn’t matter? All that garbage that is not the truth. It will not set you free, but bind you in its deception. Its yoke of false hope will weigh you down until you can no longer stand up straight.

If a philosopher’s goal is to study the truth, then we should all aspire to be philosophers. We should strive to:

Seek the truth.

Protect the truth.

Defend the truth.

We must examine our preconceived notions and question the validity of the popular messages of our time. Our quest for the truth should be far reaching. It should not be limited to only our communities or culture. If you have to climb the mountains, cross the deserts, or read the ancient texts of different civilizations, then we should do this.

We should do this so that we may be free. It really does matter.

Dispose yourself to embrace the truth, wherever it is found. –John Locke

 

Choose Kindness

Whoever pursues…

You don’t have to do the following. The choice is yours. But if you choose to walk this path, the reward will be waiting for you.

Justice and Kindness…

Interesting that these two are paired together. Some view justice as the cold servant of the law, while kindness is associated with warm-heartedness toward others. But if you google the definition for justice, the first entry you will see is “just behavior or treatment.” Continue reading and you will see the word “righteous.” Using this definition, there is nothing cold about justice. Justice is simple. It is doing the right thing.

Now when paired with kindness, it makes sense. This verse is about how we treat others. We should treat everybody right. We should treat everybody with kindness. Everybody. Not just friends and family and those you respect and esteem, but even your enemies, the ones you find annoying, and the complete strangers you run into should be treated with justice and kindness. It may not always be easy. But with empathy, compassion, and a true desire for the happiness of others, it is possible to achieve.

Will find Life and Honor.

Think about the just and the kind people you know. Most people go out of their way to do right by them. They are always received with a smile. Why are they so well-liked? You know what you will get with them. You know they will never do anything devious or malicious. Not only are they honorable, but they are honored amongst their peers. That’s the life we should all strive for. That is the life we can all have if we pursue justice and kindness.

Righteous, Totally

For you. For your family. For your employer. For your community.

You have an obligation to do the right thing. It is the minimum expectation you probably have for others. And if you hold yourself to the highest standard possible, there should never be any wavering in our quests to do that which is right.

If you are always doing the right things, then it should not bother you if others don’t like it. At the end of the day, you alone bear the responsibility of your actions. So keep doing the right things, and realize this is the path to being totally righteous.